WORKING CONNECTIONS OFFERS CUTTING-EDGE, COST-EFFECTIVE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES TO CURRENT IT/CONVERGENCE FACULTY
This professional development is often only available through expensive commercial training. Working Connections makes the newest technologies and industry trends available to attendees, as well as encourages the kind of networking and collaboration among educational and business leaders that can strengthen any IT educational program.
Working Connections training workshops offer several tracks that cover a range of the most in-demand topics in IT. The goal is to provide attendees with the expertise needed to teach their respective track in a subsequent semester, bringing the most current information to their classrooms either as a stand-alone course or as supplemental information to an existing course.
This event is typically offered for five days in July face-to-face at Collin College in Frisco, Texas and three days in December on-line.
IMPACTS AND METRICS
• Since 2004, more than 2500 faculty enrollments (939 unique faculty members) have attended Working Connections professional development events, which have offered more than 100 unique IT topics in that time.
• According to results of annual longitudinal surveys, at least 149,000 students across over 13,000 sections and classes have been directly impacted by the training provided by Summer Working Connections since the program began.
• The annual longitudinal surveys also that show that, on average, for the last five years, 75% of Working Connections faculty attendees pick tracks they are not already teaching; that is, they’re introducing new topics and skills their students may not have otherwise received.
• “First-time” faculty attendee percentage is high, proving word-of-mouth is positive and that the event reaches beyond the group of regular attendees. From 2015-2020, 28% (185 out of 658) summer attendees were “first timers” attending their very first Working Connections event.
• In 2020, end-of-program surveys reported that at least 93% of Summer (n=177) and Winter (n=83) Working Connections faculty attendees “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the statement “Working Connections provided me with high quality IT training.” This response has remained in the 90s for the last six years.
• Summer Working Connections fosters networking and collaboration opportunities among faculty attendees. In 2019, 95% of faculty attendees (n=103) reported making “brand new connections and contacts with other attendees for possible future collaborations and resource sharing” along with 78% that reported “maintaining or growing connections and contacts” developed at previous Working Connections.
PAST WORKING CONNECTIONS tracks
- AWS Cloud Foundations
- Big Data Analytics and Data Visualization
- Cybersecurity Infrastructure Configuration (online)
- Firewall Essentials: Configuration and Management
- Hybrid App Development Using React Native
- Integrating Hybrid Cloud into Your Curriculum
- Introduction to Microsoft Azure
- Intro to Bitcoins, Blockchains, Smart Contracts, and D'Apps
- NetLab+ Building Custom Pods (online)
- Preparing to Teach the Internet of Things
- Programming Essentials in Python
- Transforming Hybrid Cloud Architecture
PAST SUMMER WORKING CONNECTIONS LUNCH PRESENTATIONS
- “Beyond Digital Disruption” – Juniper Networks
- “Big Data: Closing the Skills Gap” - Lone Star College
- “Data Is the New Oil of the Digital Economy” - NetApp
- “Delivering Outcomes in a World Full of Abundant Complex Technology Choices” - IBM
- “Google IT Support Professional - Where Does It Fit In?” - Collin College
- “Is Your Future Cloudy?” - AWS
- “An Overview of Serverless Architecture” - Collin College
- “The Value of Certifications in Industry” - NetApp
In addition, a special best practices “Leadership Academy” track is often offered that focuses on skills related to strengthening classroom and program success, such as successfully engaging business councils using the BILT model, developing a competitive grant proposal, leveraging social media tools, or improving interpersonal communication.